Study finds that over fifty percent of parents start their children on solids too early
Introducing your baby to solids is a milestone many new parents both dread and anticipate in equal measure.
In one way you are saying goodbye to the days when life was all about milk and boobs, but also, you are now opening the door to actual meals, exciting new flavours and the beginning of family dinner traditions.
But lovely as this all sounds, it turns out many of us are rushing into introducing solids – and experts are now warning us not to.
According to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in the US, as many as 54 percent of American parents introduce some type of solid food to their infants before the age of six months.
The problem? This can actually have implications for your baby's health
“Introducing babies to complementary foods too early can cause them to miss out on important nutrients that come from breast milk and infant formula,” says Chloe M. Barrera, MPH, CDC lead investigator.
However, according to research, only one-third of parents wait until then to introduce their babies to solids, with 16.6 perfect starting with solids such as baby rice before infants are even four months old.
Parents should not delay introducing solids any longer than the six-month mark either, though.
“Introducing them to complementary foods too late has been associated with micronutrient deficiencies, allergies, and poorer diets later in life,” explains Barrera.
Note that the American Academy of Paediatrics states that from six months and one year, solid foods should be seen as a complement—not replacement—to breast milk or formula, and that up until a baby is six months old, exclusively breastfeeding is formally recommended.